Magical Shepherd is one of the most significant releases in mid ’70′s electro fusion jazz music, and ironically remains largely unrecognised. It is most decidedly unlike anything that else Miroslav Vitous recorded, with funky bass lines and extensive tape looping. A collaboration with Herbie Hancock, Magical Shepherd expands beyond the usual format of fusion jazz at the time, and ends up (on side one at least) producing sounds more reminiscent of modern house and jungle music (check out the use of the disco beats and loops in New York city). The atmospheric vocals by Cheryl Grainger and Onike would fit nicely into any recordings by Goldie. I cannot recommend this album highly enough.
If you like electro fusion jazz and do not have a copy, then your life is the poorer for such an omission. If you like Herbie Hancock’s electro fusion work then this album is compulsory listening. I have played it extensively on my Radio program and have always received calls from local club DJs amazed at the existence of the recording. As coordinator of [my station’s] Jazz Show it has become my personal mission to ensure that this recording gets the wide recognition that it deserves. —Peter